Last Sunday we had a terrible scare with a really strange incident involving Daughter #2. We were all kind of hanging out in our main living area around 11am. Daughter #2 went to the kitchen faucet to get a drink and then turned around and kind of moaned out "mmmoooooooommm". She kind of stumbled and stretched out her hands and said "I can't see". I rushed over to her and asked her what was going on. She said that her chest was really hurting and now she couldn't see--everything was black. She wrapped her arms around me and I held her while she whimpered and cried and went limp. I couldn't hold her up and she slumped down to the floor. Her eyes were wide open and very glazed over--and she wasn't breathing. Both DH and I called out her name and I took one of her arms and DH took the other. We started pulling her up to a sitting position and at first her head was just flopped back and as I really started to get worried her eyes sort of rolled around and she slowly came around. We took her to lay on my bed so that I could listen to her heart which was beating very slowly.
We took her to the hospital and they drew blood, inserted an IV, tested her urine, did an X-ray (she had been sick too and had congestion and wheezing but thankfully no pneumonia) and finally did a CT scan to rule out any blood clots.
They finally shrugged their shoulders and termed the incident as a "Vagal Reaction". The Vagal Reaction diagnosis she received states... *quote* "Fainting (syncope) is a temporary loss of consciousness (passing out). It occurs when blood flow to the brain is reduced. Your doctor believes that your episode was due to a common vagal reaction. A vagal reaction is a reflex response that causes the pulse to slow down. If the pulse is low enough, the blood pressure falls and causes fainting or near fainting. Lying down usually stops the reaction. within 60 seconds. This reflex response can occur during sudden fear, severe pain, emotional stress, overextention or suddenly standing up after sitting or lying for a long time."
When daughter #2 was 16 months old we discovered that she had the same heart defect that her older sister had had (an atrial septal defect--ASD or simply the hole between the upper two chambers of the heart all babies are born which doesn't close properly--and a misplaced pulmonary vein--partial pulmonary venous return anomoly) and would also need surgery. The surgery was done 4 months later and she's been a real go-getter ever since. :-) This was discovered while I was pregnant with my 6th baby--the one that we lost due to Thanatophoric Dysplasia (which you can read about that here). Ironically this discovery was made after she contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized which is how they detected my ASD when I was nine years old (like mother like daughter).
Fast forward to the present. It's been a while since she's had a heart check up and we're in the process of getting that scheduled. Watching your daughter die for all intents and purposes is not something I want to do again. It would be nice to know what really happened--if that's possible. Perhaps it was all that lolling about in the snow???